Look at any industry or profession and one thing is certain, the people at the top know the results they want to achieve and they track everything to ensure they get there. So, if results are what financial professionals want, why don’t more financial professionals track their business? First and foremost if requires work, but more importantly it involves self-reflection. Whether you are a sole-practitioner or part of a larger agency or firm, tracking the results of your business is a reflection of your performance. It’s like looking in the mirror. Either you like what you see or you don’t. The difference between you and the person at the top is that they aren’t afraid to work hard, face their flaws, and they have the determination to make things happen for their business.
Look at professional athletes. Their performance in measured in countless ways and heavily analyzed. At any point in their season or career, the athlete, the coach and the general public can see how they are doing and identify problem areas. When performance issues arise, they address them and make the necessary changes. Or, think about your Fantasy League. If you see a problem with your line-up, do you think twice about making the necessary changes? You don’t, because you want to win the league. Apply the same mindset and intensity to your business, and imagine the results you might see.
If you want more referrals, higher response rates on your marketing efforts, more sales and increased profitability, you must track everything and assess where you are today. Assuming you’ve set goals for your business, ask yourself these following questions.
- Where are my numbers in relation to where I want to be?
- Are you tracking the right numbers (e.g. response rates, appointments-set ratios, revenues, expenses, client lead sources, assets under management, etc.)? Example: If profitability is one of your goals, do you have a “Profit & Loss” statement? Are you profitable and, if so, what percentage of your business is profit?
- Is my business on track? If not, where are the problem areas and what am I willing to do about them?
As a small business owner, you have the greatest gift of all; the freedom to run your business however you wish. Don’t be afraid to track the numbers. It may seem like a lot of work at first and you may fear what you’ll find, but the clarity that tracking your numbers can bring to your business will be worth it in the end if you make the necessary changes when issues arise. Stay tuned for my next post, where I will share some core metrics you may want to track in different areas of your business.
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